总理在冰岛发挥有效的执行力。冰岛也有一个总统，他的权力很大程度上是礼仪性的。除了任命总理，总统也有权解散Althing。当总理行使大多数行政权力，作为政府首脑时，总统是正式的国家元首。总统任期四年，每五年举行一次议会选举。截至2002日，总统芬波迦朵特Olaf Ragnar Girmsson曾成功地在1996。当Finnbogadottir在1980第一次被当选，她成为世界上第一个民选的女性国家元首。David Oddsson第一次成为联合政府的总理，在1991的位置，保留1995的议会选举后1999。
Iceland boasts of having the world's oldest democratic body. The Parliament, or Althing, was originally established in 930 AD . From the fourteenth century until it declared its independence on 17 June 1944, Iceland was under Danish control.
Iceland has a parliamentary form of government. The Althing is a bicameral Parliament with 63 members; 49 are chosen proportionally from eight districts, and the remainder are selected to make the total number of representatives proportional to the national vote totals for each party. Parliamentary elections are held every four years; the most recent election was held in May 1999. De facto executive power is held by the prime minister, who is appointed by the president from the majority party or coalition of parties. Five different parties held seats in the Althing after the 1999 election.
The prime minister wields effective executive power in Iceland. Iceland also has a president, whose power is largely ceremonial. In addition to appointing the prime minister, the president also has the power to dissolve the Althing. While the prime minister exercises most executive power and serves as head of government, the president is the formal head of state. The presidential term lasts four years; the parliamentary elections are held every five years. As of 2002, the president was Olaf Ragnar Girmsson who succeeded Vigdis Finnbogadottir in 1996. When Finnbogadottir was first elected in 1980, she became the first democratically elected female head of state in the world. David Oddsson first became prime minister in a coalition government in 1991, and retained the position after parliamentary elections in 1995 and 1999.
In losing four seats in the April 1995 parliamentary elections, the IP and SDP (so called ViÃ°ey government) mustered a simple majority in the 63-seat Althing. However, Prime Minister and IP leader DavíÃ° Oddsson chose the resurgent Progressive Party (PP) as a more conservative partner to form a stronger and more stable majority with 40 seats. Splintered by factionalism over the economy and Iceland's role in the European Union (EU), the SDP also suffered from being the only party to support Iceland's EU membership application.